X Factor contestant Lorna Simpson says she is ready to win the hearts of the public ahead of the first round of live shows tonight.

The 26-year-old is the bookies favourite to be the first person eliminated from the show despite her strong performances at bootcamp and the judge’s houses stage.

She is one of three Croydon acts in the final 12, with boy band Rough Copy and teenager Hannah Barrett also vying for a place in the next round.

It has been a tough week for the university student, who is being mentored by Sharon Osbourne, after pictures emerged last week of her holding a shotgun.

But the Thornton Heath resident is relishing the role as underdog and told the Croydon Guardian she wants show the public what she is all about.

Miss Simpson said: “I know what I have been up to. I was not expecting not to be in the paper.

“I really just want to get the public to see who I really am now and enjoy my performances. I want to go out there and do my best.

Croydon Guardian:

Croydon three-piece Rough Copy are also in the live finals. Picture: Nicky Johnston/Thames/Syco

“My message to everyone is to have faith in me. Hopefully people will get behind me, I will not let them down.

“I would love to come back to Croydon and be among my fellow south Londoners, I call it CR7 heaven, as I really appreciate the support they have given me.

“I have seen a bit of the other Croydon contestants as we all live in the same house but to be honest we are all concentrating on our own performances and making sure we are ready for the show.”

Croydon Guardian:

Hannah Barrett makes up the trio of Croydon acts in this year's X Factor finals. Picture: Tom Dymond/Thames TV

She added: “It has been a mental week. Lots of rehearsals, lots of getting up early in the morning to do the choreography. It has been really great but really tiring.

“I am over excited for this evening, I am just ready to do this. I am telling you I am going to come out with a bang. I am doing a big 80s hit this week, it is going to be on fire.

“By tonight everyone is going to know who Lorna Simpson is, no more underdog.”